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What is a Gerontologist

Angela Muki - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 | Comments (0)

There is no one definition for the broad spectrum of services that a gerontologist can provide.

On their website http://www.sahp.vcu.edu/gerontology/about/gerontologist.html, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions defines Gerontologists as “health care professionals who specialize in the field of aging related dimensions of change over the lifespan.”  The website continues to discuss these dimensions:  types of gerontologists, their places of service, their fields of study, and their responsibilities.

We have been described as social scientists, health care professionals, aging experts, aging guides, care managers, problem solvers, and even fixers, to name only a few.  But the common thread of all gerontologists is their ability to understand the aging process, their dedication to a life of helping people, and their earnest in enriching the lives of elders.

The 21st century presents a tremendous growth in an aging population.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the older age population grew at a faster rate than the younger ages.  Those aged 45 to 64 grew in population by 31.5 percent and those aged 65 and better grew at 15.1 percent.  The younger population, those aged 18 to 44, grew at a mere 0.6 percent while those under 18 years of age grew at a rate of only 2.6 percent.

We all age.  And with the population growing older, we should all have an interest in how to age well.

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